We held out for healing. We prayed for it. We laid our hands on his head. We called out for God’s kingdom to come on earth, in Zeke, as it is in heaven. But the healing we wanted never came, and finally, after far too long, Zeke took his last breath at 3:00 this morning, passing from life to death, and on into eternal life.
“Where, O death, is your victory?Where, O death, is your sting?”
Zeke is with Jesus. I’m jealous of them both.
I’m jealous of Zeke because he gets to rest from all of his trials. He gets to see what I can only hope for. He gets to know Jesus face-to-face. He is made whole, today, in the presence of his Savior and Creator.
I’m jealous of Jesus because he gets to talk to Zeke. Because of this disease, I was never able to have a real conversation with him. He could only respond nonverbally because the speech function in his brain was not allowed to develop. But now that he’s made whole, the first person he ever gets to converse with is Jesus. So I’m jealous.
On this mountain the Lord Almighty will preparea feast of rich food for all peoples,a banquet of aged wine—the best of meats and the finest of wines.On this mountain he will destroythe shroud that enfolds all peoples,the sheet that covers all nations;he will swallow up death forever.The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tearsfrom all faces;he will remove his people’s disgracefrom all the earth.The Lord has spoken.
Our hope is built upon the resurrection of Jesus. We don’t imagine that Zeke is whole or that we will see him again because we are looking for ways to comfort ourselves. Rather, we comfort ourselves in the historical fact of Jesus’s resurrection and what that means about the future for all who believe in him.
Zeke’s bed is empty, and I feel that same emptiness in my heart. All of the pillows and blankets that protected his flailing feet and arms from hitting the bedrails are still there, but his body is conspicuously absent. My heart is wrung dry. My stomach is churning.
For half of his life he suffered from the effects of seizures. Now, for eternity, his body is made new, never to seize again. I rejoice that his suffering is over. I lament that he is gone.
My sweet boy, the next time I see you we must have a long chat.
I love you.
I rejoice with you.
You are missed.
I will never forget you.